Kathleen Quinlan is passionate about marketing her business, and thanks to a comic misunderstanding, fishermen in Lunenburg are familiar with the lengths her passion will take her.
“I don’t care where your business is, you’ve got to know your basics,” said Quinlan, the founding partner of Fiore Botanica Natural Skin Care, which is located at 255 Lincoln St. in Lunenburg.
“You have to decide what your marketing strategy is.”
And for her entrepreneurial acumen, Quinlan was recently named a finalist for the 2018 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.
The awards are sponsored by Women of Influence, an organization that recognizes female business owners across Canada. Quinlan was named a finalist for the micro-business award.
“The goal from the beginning was that this was going to be a national and international company. That’s how we’ve always looked at it,” said Quinlan, who is from Montreal, Que., but moved to Nova Scotia in 2013.
And to achieve her goal, she hasn’t been afraid to roll up her sleeves in the name of marketing.
Recently, Quinlan was along the Lunenburg waterfront taking photographs of her products.
The waterfront, she said, is a natural narrative to market to customers. The business, by virtue of being a part of the painted houses and quaint shops, becomes a part of the destination.
“We highlight, as much as we can, Lunenburg in all of our pictures.”
During the photoshoot, it became necessary for Quinlan to lie down on the wharf to snap a photo with some of the town’s iconic buildings in the background.
“I had my products, was flat on my stomach taking pictures and felt the wharf kind of moving,” she said.
“All of a sudden, I looked up and saw feet coming towards me and there were three fishermen running towards me. They thought I had passed out. Now, they’re kind of used to it. They know it’s just me taking pictures.”
Given that this is the sixth time that Quinlan has been nominated, but her first time as a finalist, she said her hard work is paying off.
A total of 7,400 businesses were nominated in 2018.
Co-owner Phaedra Charlton-Huskins said Fiore Botanica’s success is an example of the Ivany Report in action. Rural Nova Scotia can succeed economically if people work to grow opportunities.
“There is a lot of potential in rural Canada to grow business,” she said.
The goal has always been, explained Charlton-Huskins, to show that a rural business can thrive nationally and internationally.
Charlton-Huskins added that technology has been one of the biggest factors in enabling Fiore Botanica’s growth.
“You can be anywhere,” she said. “No beginning is too humble.”
And for their efforts, Charlton-Huskins and Quinlan have been receiving praise from across Nova Scotia.
Since Fiore Botanica was announced as a finalist, Premier Stephen McNeil, Member of Parliament, Bernadette Jordan and dozens of other leaders and businesspeople have reached out to congratulate them on their success.
But for now, the owners of Fiore Botanica said they will focus on what has made them successful: hard work.
The awards gala is scheduled to take place on Nov. 21 in Toronto, Ont.